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Cultivate Hopkins is the City’s latest process to update its comprehensive plan.
The Metropolitan Council sets the basic requirements for what must be included in comprehensive plans. Hopkins' comprehensive plan update must address six plan elements including land use, transportation, water resources, parks, housing, and implementation. The Metropolitan Council also recommends, but does not requiring, local governments address economic competitiveness and resilience. For more information on comprehensive planning requirements check out the Metropolitan Council's Local Planning Handbook.
By law, Hopkins' comprehensive plans must be consistent with Thrive MSP 2040, the Metropolitan Council's policy document that guides development in the metropolitan region over the next 30 years. Comprehensive plans must also align with the Metropolitan Council's regional system and policy plans. The system plans outline regional policy regarding transportation, water resources, parks and open space, and housing. The system plans are updated after each decennial census to address projected growth in population, households and jobs in the metro area.
Minnesota law requires that all cities, counties, and townships within the seven-county metropolitan region must update their comprehensive plan every ten years. Hopkins last comprehensive plan was updated in 2009.
Hopkins 2009 Comprehensive Plan can be found on the City’s website.
No. Your fire alarm system is required by law. It must be maintained in operable condition.
Yes, but there is a catch. The Minnesota State Fire Code allows the fire department to require that your fire alarm system be hooked directly into a monitoring company. If you have a fire sprinkler system, you should already be tied in somewhere. If you have a fire alarm system only, you may not be remotely monitored. It is the policy of the Hopkins Fire Department not to require remote monitoring of fire alarm systems unless one of the following conditions exist:
The first false alarm of a calendar year is free. After that, it will cost $250 per alarm. This is the average cost to the City for an emergency response. The cost is incurred as soon as the dispatcher pages the fire fighters, even if they are canceled before arriving at your building.
75% of our fire alarm calls are caused by 25% of our alarmed buildings. This tells us that just because you have a fire alarm system doesn't mean you are going to have false alarms. Things that can be done to cut down on false alarms include the following:
No. The intent of the policy is not to bill property owners for false alarms. We want to cut down on the number of false alarms.
You will not be billed for:
You will be billed for:
Contact your county assessor to file a homestead application if you or a qualifying relative occupy the property as a homestead on or before December 1.
For agricultural property, a qualifying relative includes a child, grandchild, sibling or parent of the owner or the owner's spouse.
For residential property, a qualifying relative also includes the owner's uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.
You must apply on or before December 15.
Once homestead is granted, annual applications are not necessary unless they are requested by the county assessor.
Contact the assessor by December 15 if the use of the property you own or occupy as a qualifying relative has changed during the past year.
If you sell, move or for any reason no longer qualify for the homestead classification, you are required to notify the county assessor within 30 days of the change in homestead status.
In some limited circumstances, housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members may be excluded from complying.
Unless a building or community qualifies as age-specific housing, it may not discriminate based on familial status, which includes families with one or more children under 18 who live with:
Age-specific housing is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if:
The Fair Housing Act lists seven basic access requirement standards that must be met:
The City has seven department heads that prepare a budget.
Construction of each multi-use path is a separate item in the Capital Improvement Plan.
The only time currently scheduled to comment on the preliminary budget is at the Truth in Taxation hearing scheduled for November 30. You can also contact the Mayor, City Council and Finance Director at any time, or leave a comment using this form.
The focus of the City’s engagement and comment periods are on the early part of the year, because we believe there is greater flexibility and opportunities for impact early on in the process versus the final months.
All Minnesota Cities must follow the Truth in Taxation process laid out by the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The hearing is required to be held after truth in taxation statements are received by each tax payer. The City recognizes that holding the hearing in late November or early December is not enough time to change the budget and will be holding its own public engagement sessions on May 19 and August 18. We believe this early engagement will offer greater flexibility and opportunities for impact versus the final months.
The City uses a strategic planning process. City Council sets a mission and vision statement, which helps inform how services should be provided and to develop an annual budget. The City Council also listens to feedback and requests from departments and divisions related to day-to-day operations and needs.
Department heads base their budgets on the City’s Mission and Vision. In 2021, results of Budget Survey and Community Engagement events will also be considered. The City Manager and Finance Director give instruction on preparing budgets.
We considered the request and determined the best way was to incorporate the ideas and viewpoints from all residents.
We have initiated an encompassing resident engagement process for the 2021 budget plan. This includes adding more opportunities and ways for residents to provide input into the budget process, Financial Management Plan and the proposed 2021 budget (when ready).
The public meetings scheduled for May 19 and August 18 are both prior to the council setting the initial maximum tax levy in September.
Currently a summary of our annual budget is posted here. The annual budget document will be posted by the end of January.
An updated Financial Management Plan will be presented on May 19.
We have compared ourselves to other Cities when making specific decisions on: organizational structure, compensation, staffing, service delivery, franchise fees and utility rates. Each City is different and we don’t analyze the overall budget or tax rate of each neighboring or comparable City. It is not an apples to apples comparison, we try to make the best decisions for Hopkins.
The City issues debt for infrastructure and large scale equipment that has a useful life equal to or greater than the length of the debt. Seventy percent of the City’s debt levy is for street reconstruction.
The City is in the middle of a plan to reconstruct all streets within the City paid for with debt, special assessments and user charges for water, sewer and storm sewer. All streets in Hopkins are planned to be reconstructed in the next 10-12 years. The City has also made significant infrastructure investments on the 8th Avenue Artery and Blake Road that prepare the City to take full advantage of Southwest Light Rail.
Maximizing tax base, and other economic development strategies including the addition of living-wage jobs, will inform the zoning update process as one of several considerations. The zoning standards must also establish regulations that insure the City gets the type of development it wants and that both existing and future development are compatible with adjacent uses. In developing the zoning code, the City will look holistically at land use from the perspective of four environments: Built, Social, Natural and Economic and strive to meet goals in all four areas.
That is not necessarily true. While commercial property does pay a higher tax rate, commercial property does not generally develop at the density of new multifamily housing, so the overall value of commercial property is less than multifamily development, resulting in a lower taxable value. There are exceptions, specifically class A office buildings such as Excelsior Crossings, but the office market is not driving new class A office development today – or in the foreseeable future.
The majority of the City’s redevelopment sites are located near the Green Line Stations and have been guided for a variety of higher density development, including commercial and housing. The City of Hopkins would like to see a mix of jobs and housing available near the stations, but the market has to be there to support development.
The outcome of the Moline parking ramp settlement was presented at the December 17 City Council Meeting. That presentation is available online here and documents are available here.
To summarize: The City of Hopkins, and the Hopkins HRA, agreed to issue an additional TIF Note for $8 million and extend the duration of the TIF District from 15 to 25 years. The obligation will be paid from TIF generated from the new property value created by the Moline development. The developer, Doran Companies, will retain ownership of the parking ramp.
The Moline parking ramp settlement will not directly affect any budget or tax levy in the near term. The City’s tax levy is divided among all properties based on taxable market value, which does not include value created in tax increment financing (TIF) districts. However, property in TIF Districts do pay taxes on the base value (the value of the property before redevelopment). Because the redevelopment would not have happened but for the use of TIF, the real impact on taxable market value is in the normal increase the base property value would have experienced due to inflation and market value increases of the previous office/warehouse development. The City acknowledges, however, that the settlement results in the City of Hopkins being able to capture the increased property taxes later than originally planned.
Even though the duration of the TIF district was extended from 15 to 25 years, based on projections, with very modest inflation (two percent), the district will have the obligations paid off in 21 years. If we use more of a historical, but yet conservative inflation of four percent, all obligations would be paid off in 18 years.
Thanks to the work of Mapping Prejudice who reviewed all the covenants in Hennepin County and documented them, we were able to put together a simple map (PDF) and Chart Covenants (PDF), which list the properties in Hopkins.
Fill out the this form to get started. We will verify your property and help connect you to resources.
Not a City of Hopkins resident? Visit the Just Deeds website for resources.
The City is temporarily opening one side of 2nd Street NE for on-street parking. The City acknowledges that this is very far for some residents to walk and not a great solution.
Given the limited on-street parking options in the area and the large amounts of snow we have received this winter, finding space for displaced vehicles from Knollwood Towers is a priority. The City is working with IPG Living, Knollwood Towers owner and property manager, to find acceptable parking solutions for residents.
City staff have been working with IPG Living to identify a long-term solution to the structural deficiencies of the ramp and reviewed a concept for a new ramp and infill apartment building.
In response to the imminent garage closure, architects working with the property owner have now prepared conceptual plans to provide parking for residents through a surface parking lot. In order to construct replacement parking stalls through either a new structure or surface lot, there will need to be City land use and permitting review and approvals.
State Statute and City Code require a formal process, including a public hearing, for the type of review that is likely required. Notice of a public hearing will be mailed to residents and property owners within 500 feet of the site.
Once an application is submitted by the owner, information on the status of the project will be available at https://www.hopkinsmn.com/1139/Knollwood-Towers.
The East parking ramp is being routinely inspected by structural safety engineers. If and when the determination is made that the ramp is structurally unsound/unsafe, it will be closed.
Yes, the City’s Zoning Code requires the provision of parking stalls for all apartment buildings. With the closure of the West garage structure, the Knollwood Towers - West property is not in compliance with the Zoning Code. The City is working with IPG Living to find temporary and permanent parking solutions for Knollwood Towers’ residents. The City encourages residents to contact HOME Line, homelinemn.org or 612-728-5767 to see if the garage closure is grounds for early lease termination, if that is what you would like to do.
By taking the Organics Recycling Survey, we can analyze how residents are managing their organics. Your feedback lets us know how to improve accessibility, resources and education on recycling organics. Take a photo or a screenshot to show you have completed the survey and submit it along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Thoroughly read over Hennepin County’s Organics Recycling Guide. On a sheet of paper or in a notes app, write down what you thought was the most useful tip. Submit the photo/screenshot along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Visit the City of Hopkins Organics Recycling webpage and review the accepted and unaccepted items lists. Submit a photo of at least three accepted items and three unaccepted items you may have around you or print a copy for your fridge. Send a picture along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Bring your bagged organics to your curbside bin and take a picture, or bring your organics to the 24/7 Minnetonka-Hopkins Recycling Center located at 11522 Minnetonka Boulevard and take a picture of you dropping off your organics. Submit the photo along with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Use up those leftovers! Share a meal with a neighbor or cook with a family member or friend! Take a photo of yourselves cooking or eating the shared meal you made together. Submit the picture along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Take a photo of your organics countertop bin if you already have one or find something to use as a countertop bin. You have plenty of options (an ice cream bucket, food grade buckets, litter container, coffee can, etc.). Submit your photo along with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Organics can get smelly and dealing with odor can be irritating, especially if you have a sensitive nose. Research tips on how to manage odor and write useful strategies down on a piece of paper or in your phone’s note app to help remind you how to deal with odor. Take a picture/screenshot of your tips and send it in along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Meal prep for an entire week and take a picture of your packed meals. This will save you time and help you reduce waste. Send in a picture of your prepped meals along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Buy a box of BPI bags and take a photo or simply take a photo of what you already own if you have BPI bags. Make sure to also check out the BPI website to learn more about labeling, certification, BPI products, or anything else that may interest you. Submit a picture of your BPI bags along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Toilet roll tubes and paper towel roll tubes are great to mix in with your organics. These items help absorb the moisture and liquids in your bin. At the composting facility, they are the perfect ingredients to add into compost mixtures. Take a photo of tubes you plan on recycling and submit them along with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Have a conversation about organics. Talk about it to friends over coffee, bring it up at family get-togethers, text a colleague or co-worker. Whatever you do, don’t forget to take a photo of who you’re talking to with a caption of what you specifically talked about. If the conversation was over text, you may take a screenshot. Send it in along with your other Bingo photos.
Make a broth out of your veggie scraps. Try something new or look up recipes. Get creative and find out what you can do with what you have. Send in a picture of your broth along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Often times, we buy too much of what we need and end up wasting food, or we get impulsive at the grocery store. Make a grocery shopping list and keep yourself on track. Send in a photo/screenshot of your list along with your other Bingo pictures.
Eat a meal using your leftovers or just eat your leftovers. No need to throw leftovers away if they are still good to eat. Send in a photo of your leftover meal with a caption of when you made it prior to the photo. Submit it with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Share ideas on how you can reduce your organic waste with friends, family and acquaintances. Send a screenshot of a text conversation or a selfie with who you talked to along with a caption of what your shared ideas were. Make sure your submission is sent in with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Do you have extra food sitting in your pantry for a while that you don’t feel like eating anymore? Instead of trashing them or letting them take up space, donate your items to a food shelf like the ICA food shelf located at 1588 K-Tel Drive in Minnetonka. Take a photo of your donations and send it in with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Here’s an easy one: If you recently had pizza or just finished up the eggs from a paper carton, you can throw those straight into your curbside recycling bin. Take a photo of your pizza box/paper egg cartons in the bin and submit it along with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Have someone else take the Organics Recycling survey. Show proof of sending the link to another Hopkins resident or get a picture of them having completed the survey. Submit the picture along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Pack a lunch three times to work and take a photo for every day that you have packed a lunch. Make a collage and submit this along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Use your freezer for managing organics or reducing waste. You can freeze your organic waste, store prepped meals in the freezer, steam vegetables in bulk and freeze, and so on. Whatever you do, show us how you’re utilizing your freezer. Take a photo and send it in along with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
It’s easy to forget about groceries pushed into the back or tucked somewhere in your fridge. Usually when you find it again, it’s gone bad, wilted or started molding. To prevent this, have a bin or basket labelled EAT FIRST in your fridge to help remind yourself of what to eat first before tossing groceries and your money away. Take a photo of your bin and send it in with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Next time you shop, use paper bags or reusable bags. Paper bags are compostable and great for organic waste to go in. Reusable bags help reduce waste in general. Take a photo of your bags after a grocery trip and send it in along with the rest of your Bingo photos.
Make a meal using up items in your fridge. Take a photo of whatever meal you can whip up and send it in with the rest of your Bingo pictures.
Call the snow line at 952-939-1399. Though local media including KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV are notified of a Hopkins’ snow emergency, the stations do not guarantee the announcement will be broadcast. Also note that snow depths are measured in Hopkins and may not coincide with the snow depths reported at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport.The City also intends to send out notification messages about snow emergencies using Rave Mobile Safety. If you want to receive notifications, register your information on the Emergency Notifications page.
If you do not have anywhere to park your car off City streets and City parking lots, use the approved snow emergency parking locations. For details regarding locations view the Snow Emergency Parking Locations page.
If a snow emergency is declared in Hopkins during the afternoon or early evening, tagging and towing enforcement will normally begin at 9 p.m. and crews will begin plowing shortly after midnight. However, depending on the snow fall, tagging and towing could begin earlier. The Snow Line, 952-939-1399, will have the actual time. When a snow emergency is declared after 9 p.m., tagging and towing operations will begin at 8 a.m. on the following day.
If you've been towed due to the snow emergency, find out more about reclaiming your vehicle on the Snow Emergency Towing page.
In order to efficiently plow the snow from City streets, every vehicle needs to be off the streets. This allows plowing to be done as quickly as possible.
Plowing around cars would mean that plows would have to come back to streets after cars have been moved. In addition, freezing conditions may cause ridges to form where cars are plowed around. It can be very difficult to remove these ridges.
Off street parking can be difficult to find in parts of Hopkins. Much of Hopkins was built when there were fewer cars. It is not uncommon for households to have three or more vehicles. Banning on street parking would be a hardship for many households.
When deciding whether to call a snow emergency, the City not only looks at the short term forecast but also takes into consideration the time of year. In December or January, a 2 inch snowfall may be followed by freezing conditions or additional snowfalls. It is important to prevent a small snowfall from freezing on the streets. A larger snowfall in March or April may be followed by 40 degrees temperatures. There is no point in going to the expense and inconvenience of calling a snow emergency if the snow is going to melt fairly quickly.
The City does not get any of the money that is charged to vehicle owners when their vehicles are towed. All of the money goes to the towing contractor. The best possible outcome for a snow emergency is to have no vehicles towed.
Under a snowfall of 3 to 5 inches, if a snow emergency is called, and all equipment and personnel are dispatched, we can finish plowing and salting operations in 8 hours. It doesn’t take that much less time to do if there is less snow as we still have to drive all the streets and alleys. It takes more time to remove deeper snow.
Yes. The Hopkins Police Department will attempt to open your car when keys are locked inside, call load permitting. You will be asked to sign a waiver releasing the police department from any damage that may occur as a result of opening the door. You may contact the police department for help.
For more information about the notice ordinance, visit the City Ordinance Reminders Page.
For more information on dogs law, visit the City Ordinance Reminders Page.
During a snow emergency, City ordinance prohibits parking on any city street or city parking lot until plowed, to allow city snow plowing operations to occur. Issuing a citation and allowing the vehicle to remain would not permit the snowplows to adequately and safely clear the streets of snow. For more information, visit the Snow Emergencies Page.
In Hennepin County, an Order for Protection is issued by the Hennepin County Family Court. There are strict requirements that must be met before an order is issued. For information call 612-348-5073. In Hennepin County, a Harassment Restraining Order is issued by District Court. For information call 612-348-7959.
Unfortunately, no. Any person may legally park a vehicle on any City street, unless otherwise posted, for up to 24 continuous hours. This means that anyone can park on the street in front of your house for that period of time. Please call the police department for further inquiries.
For more information on curfew time, visit the City Ordinances Reminders Page.
Please call the Hopkins Police Department to report graffiti.
Hopkins City Code requires property owners to remove graffiti from structures or equipment. Please, visit the Graffiti Removal Tips page to learn more.
The City issues debt for infrastructure and large scale equipment that has a lifespan at least equal to the length of the debt (in most cases much longer). A taxpayer today is paying for the maintenance and upkeep of existing infrastructure, it would be an unnecessary burden for today’s taxpayer to pay the full cost of a road or sewer that will last 40-80+ years all at once. Despite the lifetime of the infrastructure being decades long, the average city debt is issued for only 15 years which reduces the amount of interest that is paid.
Philosophically, many factors go into the City’s determination to issue debt, these include:
The City has been focused on projects to reconstruct City streets and making sure our infrastructure is prepared for Southwest Light Rail and the development expected from it.
All streets in Hopkins are planned to be reconstructed by 2030. Continuing this program and annual street surface improvement projects ensures the future preservation of our streets and helps maintain the quality of life Hopkins residents have come to expect. For more information on the Street Improvement check out this video on the pavement management program.
The City will continue to pay off debt with tax levy, special assessments, utility fees and tax increments. The tax levy for debt is projected to decrease in 2022 and 2023. It is projected to increase from 2024-2026. The average increase projected for the five year period of 2022-2026 is 1.98 percent.
Hopkins will receive $1.954 million in funding to be used by the end of 2024. Staff has proposed to use the funds for revenue losses experienced by the City. The City experienced $1.3 million of eligible revenue losses in 2020, and expects to continue to see revenue losses in 2021 and an unknown impact in future years. City Council will ultimately decide how to best utilize the funds.
The projected 5 percent increase comes from valuation increases for residential, apartment, commercial and industrial valuations. The valuation date is January 2, 2021. It does not include any additions for redevelopment or decertified tax increment financing districts, any increases in those areas would be in addition to the current projected increase.
During 2020/2021, the City reduced or delayed costs related to maintaining infrastructure and tree replanting. It is unlikely residents would notice a measurable difference due to these reductions in one or two years, however it is not possible to continue them indefinitely.
The City has also made reductions to the number of employees during the pandemic and some of those reductions were permanent.
The City of Hopkins is fully-developed with a 4-square mile footprint. In order to grow the tax base, the City must redevelop underutilized property into higher valued developments. Often, redevelopment is only financially-feasible if there is public investment.
The City of Hopkins’ goal is to only provide the minimal incentive needed to make the project happen, realizing that the gain in tax base may not be realized for several years, but allowing marginal properties to continue unchanged will result in stagnant values and neighborhood decline, which also has a cost.
Each TIF request is evaluated individually, which includes performing a fiscal impact analysis. The City believes that the community benefits of TIF developments have been greater than the cost of additional services.
Staff is currently reviewing the fee schedule compared to the actual staff costs related to the service provided. Any proposed changes would be brought to the City Council in the fall of 2021. A previous effort to update the fee schedule was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City has been in communication with Metro Transit Police and our neighboring agencies to strategize and plan for additional resources for light rail security. We will continue to work together to ensure the safety of our community and the riders of the light rail system.
Due to construction delays, passenger service on Southwest Light Rail is not expected to begin until 2024. There is not specific plan for additional costs for safety or plan to pay for it. However, any additional services provided by the Hopkins Police Department would likely be paid for with property taxes. Council has expressed interest in discussing future needs associated with both light rail and the proposed redevelopments at a future meeting.
Historically, the City of Hopkins has engaged with the community. One of the goals in the City’s strategic plan is to “take it to them” and includes strategies and action steps to meet this goal.
In, 2020 the City began incorporating engagement sessions as part of the budget process. During the pandemic, the options to engage have been limited. The City has provided virtual options as a safe way to engage. As it becomes safer, the City will continue to evaluate the best way to engage with residents and taxpayers on the budget.
The Fire Department has been responding to medical calls since the early 1950s. Up until 1987, the fire department was a basic life support (BLS) transport, in which they would transport low level medicals to the hospital. The Fire Department did not renew their BLS license, but has continued to respond to medical calls.
Medical calls make up 75 percent of what the department does. This is a critical service provided to the residents of Hopkins. The Hopkins Fire Department is the first response before Hennepin Ambulance (HCA) arrives. In many instances, HCA is 10+ minutes away. In some events, it is critical to have the early intervention done by the Hopkins Fire Department to help save a person’s life.
The City has five active TIF districts. Two of the five decertify in 2023, and of those one is no longer collecting TIF.
View the City’s Annual Disclosure for the year ended December 31, 2020
The City is experiencing revenue losses for our recreational facilities, charges for services, and licenses and fees. The City did receive Federal CARES funding, which has limited uses, cannot be used for revenue losses and will only be available through November 15, 2020. We are also projecting higher than usual property tax payment delays. The City’s tax levy accounts for the majority of the City’s revenues at approximately 62 percent.
There are many other non-budgetary impacts that are changing how we are able to operate.
The City has chosen not to publish benchmarking data. We have compared ourselves to other Cities when making specific decisions on: organization structure, compensation staffing, service delivery, franchise fees and utility rates. Each City is different and we don’t analyze the overall budget or tax rate of each neighboring or comparable City. None of the cities sharing a border with Hopkins would be comparable based on population, demographics or tax capacity. It is not an apples to apples comparison, we try to make the best decisions for Hopkins.
All departmental budgets follow the same process, regardless of size. The Finance Department prepares a salary and benefit budget based on existing employees. The department completes a budget for materials, supplies and services. A budget request form is required for any additions to the budget, however this was not allowed for the 2021 Budget due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The City’s budget process for 2021 will include two budget engagement sessions, a budget survey and a Truth in Taxation hearing.
You can also comment through the City’s website and directly to the City’s Finance Director or City Council.
Yes, we reduced staff hours at the Activity Center, Hopkins Center for the Arts, Depot Coffee House and Pavilion, and also within the Inspections and Public Works Departments. The Fire Department did not hire any part-time firefighters. We also eliminated a position at the Hopkins Center for the Arts permanently.
The City would have the ability to cut almost any area of the current budget. The exceptions would be general obligation bonds and services required by Minnesota, such as inspections and elections.
Realistically, the services provided by the City are not all or nothing. Services could still be provided, but at a reduced level.
The City has five active TIF Districts. Two of the five decertify in 2023, and one is no longer collecting TIF.
View City’s Annual Disclosure for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The City’s Director of Economic Development & Planning is also giving a development update at the September 1 City Council meeting, which will include information on how TIF has been used in Hopkins.
The amount of the equipment replacement levy did increase by $140,000 between the 2020 Levy and the Draft presented on August 17. The originally proposed 2020 levy was $250,000, however the City chose to issue equipment certificates (debt) to purchase a wheel loader in 2020. This allowed the City to reduce the equipment replacement levy by $140,000 and still purchase needed equipment. The equipment certificates are paid off over 10 years.
Yes, the City has made strategic investments over the past few years to prepare our infrastructure for the impact of light rail. The two largest and most noticeable projects are the improvements at the 8th Avenue Artery and Blake Road.
We regularly discuss opportunities to partner and partner with not only our neighboring communities, but with the school district and other entities like the Metropolitan Council or Three Rivers Park District. We view our joint partnerships as one of the City’s strongest assets and opportunities. Specifically, the Fire Department has looked into partnerships with other communities. Based on our geography, Hopkins would need to be the smaller city in the partnership. This could result less control over the department, which could negatively impact on our Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating. The ISO rating is an independent metric to evaluate how well a local fire department can protect the community.
During the initial stages of planning the engagement process for the 2021 budget, we decided to try to bring as many people into the conversation as we could. We did not expect that every resident or business owner would review detailed aspects of the budget and some complex information was simplified. One example is the budget survey conducted in March and April, in which we said the MAIN options the City has for balancing the budget are to “increase revenue (taxes) or reduce current services provided.” The City is also constantly reviewing expenditures and looking for opportunities for efficiencies and additional funding sources such as grants or partnerships.
The majority of services provided in the City’s general fund will not be paid for from new revenue sources. The City provides police protection, fire protection, street maintenance, parks, snow/ice removal, planning, zoning and forestry. These will continue to be largely supported by property taxes.
We have prioritized completing needed infrastructure projects, which required the issuance of debt. We believe the projects were important to Hopkins. They could not have been completed if paying off debt was our focus.
In the past five years, the City has completed the following street projects: Mainstreet, Avenues West, Park Valley and Peaceful Valley, 8th Avenue Artery, Northeast Hopkins, Blake Road and Cambridge Street/Hiawatha Avenue/Lake Street.
The projects at 8th Avenue and Blake Road will allow Hopkins to fully realize the benefits of Southwest Light Rail. The City has also completed renovations of City Hall and the Hopkins Pavilion.
Staff was asked to submit a cut scenario and many of those reductions were placed in the draft budget. Reductions higher than what was presented in the draft budget would have a significant impact on operations and would require longer discussions and likely elimination of services. The engagement we completed this spring directed us to maintain services with an inflationary increase which was included in the draft budget.
Just over 70 percent of our employees are represented by five different unions. All five are under a three year contract covering the period form January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2020. None of the contracts will be settled when the preliminary budget is passed in September. We are strategic about how we choose to share this information for negotiation purposes.
We have frozen hiring in multiple positions and eliminated a position. Every vacancy is being reviewed.
The remaining 30 percent are unrepresented. Their wages and benefits are set by the City. As a best practice, the City treats non-unionized employees equitably to unionized employees.
Police and fire department expenditures are collectively increasing by $353,580 or 4.74 percent from 2020. The increase is mainly due to the difference between actual salary and benefits rates in 2020 compared to the projections being used for the 2021 budget.
Thank you for the feedback. We presented a budget based on the engagement we received this spring, which said to maintain services.
Staff does not intend to post the individual comments. We do not feel that the comments are valuable information for outside parties without leading to a misleading analysis of the survey. The comments were internally valuable, as they provided us with feedback on how to improve services. View an overview of the survey results.
On June 2, City Council approved the creation of an early retirement incentive program, with the intention of restructuring and reducing expenditures in 2021. No staff took part in the program.
Yes, the draft budget presented on July 21 and August 17 focused on maintaining services and cutting back where we could without impacting services.
The survey was conducted in March and April. Governor Walz declared a State of Emergency on March 13, 2020. 43 percent of survey responses were received before March 13 and 57 percent were received after this date.
The 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan was approved by City Council on October 15, 2019. Projects included by year are:
No, we did not feel it was appropriate at this time to add any new positions.
A completed permit will be reviewed and issued in 10 days or fewer.
To request an inspection, email us at email@example.com or call us at 952-548-6320.
You will need a building permit and an electrical permit.
Find building and electrical permits
You will be offered an inspection time rather than an inspection window for your convenience.
The City may consider solar as a public benefit.
Typically inspections are scheduled within 1 to 2 business days.
The City requires two inspections, one electrical inspection and one final inspection.
To request an inspection, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 952-548-6320.
Contact the City of Hopkins Deputy City Clerk at Hopkins City Hall or call 952-548-6366 for instructions.
To qualify for the special assessment deferment, all of the following are required:
Active Duty Military Reserves:
In 2008 the MN Legislature amended the statute to include property owned by a person who is ordered into active military service, as defined in section 190.05 subdivision 5b or 5c, as stated in the person’s military orders, for whom it would be a hardship to make the payments.
Only special assessments for permanent improvements are eligible.
The deferral will automatically terminate if:
Upon termination of the deferral, the deferred special assessments are due and payable along with accrued simple interest during the assessment period at the rate established for payment of assessments at the time the assessment roll was adopted.
Minnesota Statutes, Sections 435.193 through 435.195, authorize cities to defer the payments of special assessments.
City Ordinance No. 90-683 effective on July 24, 1990 has established the criteria by which special assessments may be deferred.
If you are interested in providing feedback on the Artery designs, or want to be involved as the design of the Artery becomes more detailed, please email Meg Beekman, Community Development Coordinator, or call 952-548-6343. The City will be organizing a review of the project with area artists to gather feedback on how the Artery might be used by artists doing work in various mediums.
The projected cost of implementing the Artery on Eighth Avenue is $2.8 million. To date, the City has secured $700,000 from Hennepin County and $1.325 million from the Metropolitan Council in grant funds towards the project. A previously awarded Metropolitan Council grant in the amount of $125,000 is paying for the preliminary design and engineering of the project. In addition, Three Rivers Park District will be a project partner in the design and construction of the cycle track. Any remaining cost not covered by outside agencies will be paid for by the City of Hopkins, primarily through its utility funds. Artistic elements will be supported through individual and corporate sponsorships, grant writing, and other sources
While the reconstruction of Eighth Avenue and the Downtown Station Plaza (located on the south side of Excelsior at Eighth Avenue) are integrally linked and will need to work together to comfortably and safely move people between the light rail and downtown Hopkins, the two are considered separate projects, both in their funding and timing. The City is developing a concept design for the Downtown Station Plaza, which will be handed over to the Southwest Project Office (SPO) to complete design and engineering. The plaza will be constructed in conjunction with the light rail and will not be completed until closer to the light rail opening in 2019.
The Artery is the reconstruction of Eighth Avenue between Excelsior Boulevard and Mainstreet into a pedestrian seductive, art-infused, interactive corridor. The project, as proposed, includes:
The Artery Experiment, a test run of the Artery, took place on July 11, 2015. The temporary installation of the Eighth Avenue Artery allowed Hopkins residents and others to experience the layout and functionality of the initial design and provide comments and guidance that will inform final design and construction plans.
The City anticipates constructing the Artery in 2017 so that it will be complete prior to opening day of the Southwest light rail in 2020.
Downtown Hopkins has long been considered a hidden gem within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Historically there has been a feeling that we need a stronger visual connection to downtown Hopkins from Excelsior Boulevard; something that would announce the arrival at a special place.
The Southwest light rail Green Line Extension will include an LRT stop at the SE corner of Eighth Avenue and Excelsior Boulevard. With ridership projected at 26,000 riders per day, there is an opportunity to expand Mainstreet’s market area if those riders can be connected to downtown. Eighth Avenue is the logical place to build a strong visual and physical connection. The goal is to draw people into downtown Hopkins, as well as provide Hopkins’ residents with an easy walk to the LRT station.
No. The City of Hopkins is not planning on assessing property owners for the construction cost of the Artery.
Youth are The Depot's biggest asset. All youth are welcome to come to The Depot and Friday nights we have great live music for teens, although all ages are welcome.
The students describe their governance as "student decisions with adult guidance." The Depot is led by a student board of directors, which meets monthly and is comprised of students and adults. This board sets policy, works with staff to run programs, and works on financial development and planning to sustain the Depot project.
There are two management staff members – one manages the Coffee House business, and the other runs the youth community project side and works closely with the student board.
The Depot employs part-time staff who work behind the counter, as well as staff who run our sound board.
In addition to the adult advisors on the board, the students of the Depot have a partnership agreement with institutional partners including the City of Hopkins, the Three Rivers Park District and Hopkins School District #270.
This group meets quarterly to make sure the Depot is "on track" from safety, legal and financial perspectives. All Depot Youth Project employees are employed by the City of Hopkins.
The Depot Youth Project maintains youth programming and youth development work. The annual budget hovers around $130,000.
The City of Hopkins, which is one of the community partners for The Depot, manages the money. They are a "fiscal agent" and process all donations to the Depot Youth Project. This is particularly important in securing grants from community foundations, as well as from individuals. In this regard, the Depot Youth Project is viewed as a community non-profit organization. The project budget pays for building and utility expenses, and covers the purchasing and maintenance of most of the equipment, whether primary use is for the project or the Coffee House.
There are basically three funding streams for the Depot Youth Project: grants, income (cover charges/tee-shirt sales/rentals) and donations from community groups and individuals. Typically, grants cover specific budget items and donations can be applied to the general budget.
The Depot Coffee House is a profit-making business. The coffee house creates its own revenue to provide for staffing and for product. At the discretion of the manager, some profits can be designated to the Youth Project or other program needs. Student volunteers are expected to learn the business and be trained to "work the counter" as part of their Depot commitment.
The Hopkins School District provides levy for lease funds in order to use The Depot as a "Learning Lab" for the Business Department.
Students have created ads for products on display inside the Depot, and have designed specific promotional campaigns in partnership with the Depot board and staff. Depot board members have been invited into business classes to present the details of the project and ask for specific help and expertise. A "Handbook for The Depot Coffee House / Business Class Learning Lab" has been developed, contains history, rationale, procedures and specific work product, and will be updated on an on-going basis as the program grows and changes.
The majority of the student board must be Hopkins School District residents and/or attend Hopkins schools, but the remainder of the board can be filled from other school districts.
The Chemical Health Commission of the City of Hopkins conducted a forum in order to learn the substance use and abuse situation at Hopkins High School. Thirteen chemically free student panelists presented their stories to an audience of 250 community members; some students had never used, some were in recovery, one admitted she was straight today, but could not make promises about tomorrow. At the conclusion of the evening, the community was amazed. They couldn't believe that any good kid next door could become narcotic dependent. Or that teens could have a smoking addiction or be a chronic alcoholic. The answer became obvious then. Hopkins did not have a chemically-free place for youth to gather that was nearby and safe. A question was posed by one of the student panelists to the audience, "Can you help us?"
After two years of discussion, the project begins, as yet unnamed. Community members, business people, and students worked tirelessly together. An abandoned train depot along the former Milwaukee Railroad Line was chosen. This site was ideal for its location along Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 169, its restoration historical potential, and the lease terms of $1 per year to City of Hopkins from the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.
The Depot Coffee House renovation completely by volunteer craftsmen and carpenters reaches completion on September 2, 1998. The project was funded by donation of money, labor, materials and grants from area foundations, a major contributor being Park Nicollet Foundation.
Grand opening on October 30, 1998. The Depot Board is charged with overseeing the entire project including the business coffee house. The student board works as the coffee house staff and management.
City Pages, recognizing perhaps the business' success compared to Uptown, awarded the Depot "Best Coffee House" for the 2000 Best of the Twin Cities. Star Tribune picked up and featured the music shows which ran Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
The Teen Center, led by Financial Officer Kenneth Ward launches "Teens in Action: The Operation of a Youth-Run Teen Center and Coffee House" — a curriculum of what and how the Depot Coffee House project ideally was operating at the time.
The business is solely charged with the Operations Manager. The Depot Coffee House evolves into two important entities, Teen Center and Business.
The Depot Board produced "Wired Volume I" a compilation CD featuring the Depot Coffee House local bands. For New Year's Eve 2004, the Depot held its first New Year's Eve Bash Battle of the Bands. Other large events done by the board include the Freight Yard Party, and the Halloween Bash.
A new modern sound system was installed via a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Grant. The coffee house came under the direction of the Hopkins School District Royal Cuisine.
Depot consortium (Depot Express) takes over coffee house management.
Youth Award for Creativity launched – provides financial support for art/performance/music projects for local students.
Bike Scream Sundaes begin – monthly summertime bike treks to local ice cream venues departing from the Depot.
Depot celebrated 10th birthday with Anniversary Dinner and Outdoor Picnic.
First Hip Hop Residency with Kristoff Krane – funding from McKnight Foundation.
Depot students staff popcorn and cookie booth at inaugural Hopkins in Motion event.
ENTIRE Depot Board of Directors receives Caring Youth Award.
Hip Hop Residency with No Bird Sing – funding from One Voice Coalition.
Depot Partner Three Rivers receives grant for solar panels on the Depot and alternative energy education projects on site.
Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre lead community workshops for a Depot Raspberry Parade entry - funding from Minnesota Regional Arts Council.
“Raspberry Jam” 24 hours of (mostly) live music during Raspberry Festival.
A good mix of innovation and building on successful past events kept everyone at the Depot very busy in 2011.
Our goal for every event is youth participation - in the planning, in the marketing, in the activity, and in the evaluation. Our live music events continue to bring youth from the entire West Metro to the Depot.
Financially, we are finding our way in a nonprofit environment that has been shaken. Many of our traditional funders are experiencing a decline in investment income and donations. By limiting our expenses, working some unpaid hours, and seeking a broader base for funding, we have survived.
Laurel Sundberg's 'Local Landscapes' collection was featured at the Depot. (Featured painting: Garden to Sleep, 8x10, oil on linen).
The Depot has operated at a deficit for number of years, which is due to outside factors like light rail construction, bike trail closures, COVID-19 and lack of additional outside funding. City staff have reviewed options and determined this is the best and most efficient way to be financially solvent.
If you have any other questions or concerns on the winter hours, please contact Nick Bishop or 952-548-6330.
The Depot and its partners' goal is to be financially solvent. The new operating model will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
The Depot’s primary mission is to provide a chemical free environment for student and youth in the Hopkins community. The facility will be open Thursday and Friday nights to serve its mission.
The Depot is available to rent for birthday parties, private concerts, graduation parties, baby showers and wedding receptions. Email the Depot/Freightroom booking to inquire about rental fees and available dates or visit our website.
The Depot will continue its regular hours from May 1 through October 31.
To reduce direct contact with others, the CDC encourages you to vote by mail. All Minnesota voters are eligible to vote by mail.
In Hopkins, you have the option to vote early in-person at City Hall. You will have some direct contact with staff, but may have contact with fewer people overall, especially during the first few weeks of early voting.
If you are not a registered voter, that’s not a problem. When you apply for an absentee ballot, you will be provided with voter registration materials. Please be prepared to show the required proof of residence.
Learn more about voter registration at https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/.
Polling places will be open on Election Day. We may be required to relocate some due to poll worker shortages or if a facility is closed. You will get a notice in the mail if your polling place has changed.
Poll workers will be required to wear facemasks. We are training the workers on procedures for frequent disinfecting of voting pens, voting surfaces, and equipment. We will offer you hand sanitizer when you arrive at the polling place.
It’s easy. You can apply online for a ballot — you don’t have to wait. As soon as your ballot is ready, Hennepin County will mail it to you. You can apply on the Secretary of State website at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/ABRegistration/ABRegistrationStep1.aspx.
For your ballot to count, remember this important information:
The CDC says that coronavirus transmission from mail is unlikely. However, they recommend washing your hands after collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox.
Each and every ballot we receive must be inspected closely by two election officials for the following:
Your ballot application and signature envelopes are kept on file for 22 months in case any questions or concerns arise that need to be investigated.
You can confirm we have received and counted your ballot using the online tracking tool. You can track the status of your absentee ballot at any point in the process and confirm that it was received and counted.
You may drop-off your ballot at City Hall, 1010 1st Street S:
The deadline to drop-off in-person at City Hall is 3 p.m. on Election Day (November 3). Ballots CANNOT be dropped-off at voting precincts on Election Day.
For your ballot to count, your returned ballot must be postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3, 2020) and received by Hennepin County within the next seven calendar days (November 10). You may also drop-off your ballot envelope in-person at City Hall, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The deadline to drop off in person at City Hall is Election Day at 3 p.m.
Bring your ballot to City Hall at 1010 1st St. S. The deadline to drop off in person is 3 p.m. on Election Day.
If you notice water bubbling out of the street or boulevard contact the Public Works Department at 952-939-1382.
Call 952-939-1382 and schedule a time for someone to check your house for leaks.
The City's water is 21 grains of hardness. The level of magnesium and calcium in your water determines the hardness.
The City of Hopkins filters iron out of the water before it reaches your home. After the water is filtered the remaining iron content is 0.03 parts per million. Even though the City filters out the iron, some iron still remains in the water and coats the inside of the water main pipes. Your water turns brown because of the release of these mineral deposits, caused when large amounts of water are pulled off the system either by hydrant flushing, water main breaks, water service leaks, or the Fire Department.
See our Water Quality page. The City also publishes a water quality report every spring in the Highlights newsletter.
It depends on your toilet. On average, you use 5 gallons of water when you flush your toilet. New low flush toilets use 1.5 through 2 gallons per flush.
A full cycle on a dishwasher uses 15 gallons of water. On the contrary, when you hand wash your dishes and leave the faucet running for rinsing, you use 20 gallons of water.
It's easy. Simply complete the authorization form (PDF) and include a voided check or withdrawal slip. You will continue to receive a billing statement as usual. Each statement will indicate the amount and will show the message "Auto Pay." Funds will be transferred one day prior to the due date on the billing.
It takes up to a month to set up your direct automatic payment. Until you see the wording "Auto Pay" on your utility statement payment stub, please continue to pay your bill as usual, by check, cash, or credit card.
The working day prior to the due date on the billing, funds will automatically be transferred from your account (e.g., If the due date is on a Monday, funds are pulled from your account on the previous Friday).
Each direct payment will be clearly itemized on your monthly statement from your financial institution.
Simply call the City using the phone number on the billing.
State law recognizes that the primary parties to the utility supply transaction are the City, as supplier, and the property benefited by utility service availability.
Minnesota Statute 444.075, s.3(e), authorizes the City to charge the owner and to certify unpaid charges against the property served as a tax. Minnesota Statute 325E.025, s.2, distinguishes other types of utility services (such as electrical, gas, propane, and telephone) from water utilities, recognizing that water utilities provide a unique benefit to the property and are essential to human habitation. In fact, the law prohibits owners from renting out any premises without a connection to the water system. Gas, electric, propane and phone utilities provide a benefit primarily to the end user - accordingly, the landlord is not responsible for their payment and unpaid charges cannot be assessed against the property.
State law also recognizes that part of the charge for water utilities recovers the cost of the infrastructure and its maintenance. Minnesota Statute 444.075, s.3(a).
Ultimately, if City utility bills remain unpaid, state law allows the City to assess the charges, penalties and interest against the real property served by the utility. This is consistent with the concept that it is the property that receives the benefit of the utility service, not simply the user.
Minnesota Statute 444.075, s. 3(e) states: The governing body may make the charges a charge against the owner, lessee, occupant or all of them and may provide and covenant for certifying unpaid charges to the county auditor with taxes against the property served.
Minnesota Statute 116A.22 provides: Charges established for connections to and the use and availability of service from any water or sewer or combined system, if not paid when due, shall, together with any penalties established for nonpayment, become a lien upon the property connected or for which service was made available. written notice shall be mailed to the owner of any property as to which such charges are then due and unpaid, stating the amount of the charges and any penalty thereon and that unless paid the same will be certified...and assessed as a tax...upon the property for collection with and as a part of other taxes.
Almost all of the problems experienced by City utility billing staff with tenant billed accounts revolve around the fact that the City is not a party to the lease and has no knowledge about its specific terms.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, if a landlord, an agent, or other person acting under the landlord's direction or control, interrupts or causes the interruption of electricity, heat, gas, or water services to the tenant, the tenant may recover from the landlord treble damages or $500, whichever is greater, and reasonable attorney's fees. It is a defense to any action brought under this section that the interruption was the result of the deliberate or negligent act or omission of a tenant or anyone acting under the direction or control of the tenant. The tenant may recover only actual damages under this section if:
(b) The remedies provided in this section are in addition to and shall not limit other rights or remedies available to landlords and tenants. Any provision, whether oral or written, of any lease or other agreement, whereby any provision of this section is waived by a tenant, is contrary to public policy and void. The provisions of this section also apply to occupants and owners of residential real property which is the subject of a mortgage foreclosure or contract for deed cancellation and as to which the period for redemption or reinstatement of the contract has expired.
Using paper and compostable plastic bags rather than traditional black plastic bags greatly reduces the amount of plastic sent to local composting facilities. Because local composters have less plastic to screen out of their finished compost, processing costs are reduced and the quality of the finished compost is enhanced.
Most home improvement, grocery, and hardware stores carry them.
Compostable plastic bags should clearly state that they meet ASTM D6400 standards for composting and that they are “compostable.” Bags marked “biodegradable” or “degradable” do not meet the state law. The shelf life of compostable bags is approximately 1 to 3 years. Make sure to review the label for the product specific shelf life and purchase accordingly.
Hopkins yard waste pick-up service will not take the non-compostable plastic bags, for details view the Leaf and Yard-Waste Pick Up page. You may still transport your yard waste in plastic bags to the drop off site, but you must dump the material out of the bag and take the bag with you. Understand specifics of the drop off site by viewing the Hopkins Yard Waste Drop Off Site page.
Grass and weeds higher than 10 inches are considered a nuisance and the City will issue a citation. Remember to groom the grass and weeds on your property. If City crews have to maintain your grass and weeds, you will be charged for the service.